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Organised Private Sector (OPS)

  •  ACAMB seeks enhanced synergy for economic growth
    ACAMB seeks enhanced synergy for economic growth
     ACAMB seeks enhanced synergy for economic growth
    ACAMB seeks enhanced synergy for economic growth
    Economy4 days ago

    ACAMB seeks enhanced synergy for economic growth

    The Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) has stressed the need for active and synergistic relationship between the banking and private sector for economic growth and development.

    ACAMB said this in a communique issued at the end of the first national stakeholders conference between the banking industry and the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

    The communique issued in Lagos on Thursday was jointly signed by Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa, the President, ACAMB for the promoters and Dr Seye Awojobi, the Executive Officer Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) for partners.

    It stated that stakeholders collectively agreed on the importance of effective synergy and good working relationship between the banking industry and the OPS given the critical roles of the two sectors in overall national economic development.

    The conference agreed to work with all stakeholders, going forward, to create a more effective financing structure that would ensure increased accessibility to funding into the real sector.

    The communique said that a consultative committee of experts and stakeholders drawn from across the sectors and relevant agencies and  institutions would be constituted for continuing and enduring dialogue between the banking sector and the OPS.

    The statement said that the committee would enhance funding and monitoring of the impact on the real sector.

    It added that ACAMB and the CIBN would work together on thr joint action-body.

    It urged the OPS to take advantage of specialised development finance institutions created by government with active funding from the CBN to access affordable funding.

    It also said that the CBN was opened to suggestions and feedback on its programmes and banking operations from all stakeholders.

    It added that the apex bank was ever willing to further collaborate in addressing the issue of effective funding of the OPS.

    The communique advised the banking sector and the OPS to put national interest uppermost in their business relationships and avoid deliberate acts of sabotage in the guise of transactions.

    It noted that there was a need for fiscal policy measures to complement current funding initiatives by the banking industry in support of the real sector.

    “The CBN should increase foreign exchange allocation to the real sector by restoring the priority window and dedicated access for manufacturers while members of the OPS should repatriate foreign exchange to enable the apex bank sustain forex management.

    “In order to foster greater understanding and knowledge of operations of each sub-sector of the OPS, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) should develop in-house expertise through dedicated desks and requisite professionals of key segments of the OPS.

    “ACAMB and CIBN should institutionalise the conference initiative, and ensure that subsequent editions are all inclusive of critical players in the Nigerian economy,” it said.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  NEPZA boss tasks Ondo chamber on special agro allied district
    NEPZA boss tasks Ondo chamber on special agro-allied district
     NEPZA boss tasks Ondo chamber on special agro allied district
    NEPZA boss tasks Ondo chamber on special agro-allied district
    Economy1 week ago

    NEPZA boss tasks Ondo chamber on special agro-allied district

    The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has urged Ondo Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (ONDOCIMA) to establish a special agro-allied district.

    Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of NEPZA, said that it was critical in promoting the production and processing of agricultural produce for export.

    A statement issued on Friday in Abuja by Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA, said that Adesugba made the appeal when the new executive of the chamber visited him on Thursday in Abuja.

    According to him, the chamber must become active partner in the economic development of Ondo State by establishing the  special agro-allied district.

    The NEPZA boss, who said that chamber movement was aimed at galvanising sound economic development, added that ONDOCIMA was set up to make indelible and positive economic impact in the state.

    “The chamber must constitute itself as an active development partner of the state by making itself an economic springboard in the state.

    “This can happen speedily if a special agro-allied district for backward linkages in the production and processing of agricultural produce can be established.

    “The new executive must begin to contemplate on securing large expanse of land in the state to establish this project as the enclave help to provide jobs and variety of businesses for members and residents of the state.

    “Ondo State is blessed with arable land, suitable for all-year-round- farming.

    The association can also reserve a substantial portion of the proposed district for the production of cocoa which the state has comparative advantage on,’’ Adesugba said.

    He explained that pioneer members of the state branch of the association had plans of having such a special agric site and other businesses as well.

    Adesugba, however, said that a number of extraneous factors had made the dream unrealisable.

    “The chamber can only record good successes if it is less dependent on government.

    The leadership must activate interest and expertise of the members in order to achieve the set goals,’’ Adesugba said.

    He also said that the association could become more potent and resulted-oriented if it regularly underwent projects’ assessment visitations to other sister associations.

    “Members would use such tours for business knowledge acquisition and investment promotion exchanges,” he said.

    Adesugba further said that NEPZA was prepared to partner the association in developing business templates that would make it become investment forerunner in the state.

    The NEPZA boss also explained that the Akoko Chamber of Commerce, an adjunct of ONDOCIMA was a testament of years of striving to ensure that most local communities in the state were linked to the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

    President of ONDOCIMA, Olugbenga Araoyinbo, said that Adesugba had continually proven that his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to led the movement of industrialising the country through the Free Trade Zone scheme was useful.

    He, however, explained that the new executive of the association had opened a new chapter in the administration of the chamber movement in the  state.

    Araoyinbo said that the association was prepared to join forces with the government in growing the economy.

    “We are indeed grateful for the suggestion that the association establishes an agro-allied district where our members and investors can be involved in mechanised farming and processing of farm produce for local use and export.

    “The association will in this light collaborate with NEPZA, our national body, the state government and investors to ensure that this plan is brought to fruition,’’ Araoyinbo said.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  MAN tasks banks OPS on economic growth
    MAN tasks banks, OPS on economic growth
     MAN tasks banks OPS on economic growth
    MAN tasks banks, OPS on economic growth
    Economy2 weeks ago

    MAN tasks banks, OPS on economic growth

    The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Wednesday urged commercial banks and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to join hands to grow the economy.

    Mr Mansur Ahmed, President of MAN, gave the advice at the first National Stakeholders Conference organised by the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference supported by Access Bank, Ecobank, FirstBank and Zenith Bank had: “Promoting Synergy Between the Banking Industry and the Organised Private Sector,’’ as the theme.

    Ahmed said that the performance and development of both sectors were expedient for the sustainability of the economy; hence, the need for both sectors to work together to reduce poverty, attract investment and boost economic growth.

    “The traditional industry-bank lending relationship is no longer supporting the growth of the industry, the bank and the economy, as a whole.

    “ Industry activities have massively declined showing rising number of moribund industries across the country and the increasing capital flight.

    “ Based on this information, it is important that the commercial banks and the industry should come together to chart new ways of supporting each other to the benefit of all.

    “ There is no doubt that the industry needs the bank to increase investment and production while the bank needs the industry for interest payment incomes and equity subscription,’’ he said.

    He, therefore, recommended that the commercial bank should develop corporate patriotism to strengthen the willingness to lend at the interest rate that supports both the industry and the banking sector for the sake of the economy.

    He stressed the need to prioritise attention to industry foreign exchange requests, particularly in this period of acute shortage.

    Ahmed represented by Mr Ambrose Oruche, Director, Corporate Services of MAN, also urged the banks to ensure that government or international development funds were well accessed without undue difficult conditionality.

    He recommended the creation of a process that would support  equipment acquisition in the industry and creation of funds to support industry-bank joint venture for easy financing of specific industry business.

    He also suggested the creation of a unit for business support and capacity development for the industry as well as a trade support unit.

    Mr Ide Udeagbala, President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), represented by Mr Ayo Osinloye, urged stakeholders to provide answers to the difficult challenges being faced by the private sector.

    “They face weak infrastructure, especially in terms of power, transportation, and workspace.

    They lack a collective voice and have relatively weak influence of policy formulation.

    They have poor access to vital resources, especially finance,” Udeagbala said.

    Also speaking, Mr Eboagwu Ezulu, Deputy Director, Financial System Stability Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), advised the OPS to approach the development financing institutions for financial assistance.

    “I am aware that the Development Bank of Nigeria was established in collaboration with the CBN to provide funding as well as the Bank of Industry established to support the manufacturing sector.

    “Have we the manufacturing sector approached those entities to utilise the funds available rather than asking the commercial banks?

    “Banks are supposed to approach the CBN on behalf of their customers to solve these problems; the commercial banks lend for credit purpose, they have the primary responsibility to protect their depositors,’’ Ezulu said Dr Ken Opara, the CIBN President, noted that the organised private sectors were the real drivers of real sector growth and economic advancement through industrialisation, job creation, provision of goods and services and poverty alleviation.

    “Thus a well-functioning financial system and a rigorous private sector are important drivers of national growth in terms of  Gross Domestic Product, employment generation, economic stability and poverty reduction.

    “However, I must admit that there are still a lot of untapped opportunity between these two critical sectors some of which are attributable to lack of proper handshake between the bodies.

    “Given the interdependence of both sector, it has become imperative for both to work mutually for the growth of the nation’s economy,’’ Opara said.

    Earlier, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa, President ACAMB, said that the outlook of the conference was essentially to develop a workable roadmap for the two sectors to synergise for the benefit of the national economy.

    “Finance, the essence of banking is the driving force for the private sector.  

    Capital, is probably the primary factor of production.

    “On the other side, the private sector, as the end users of banking services and the largest sector of the economy, is also conversely the driver of a sustainable and viral banking sector.

    “So, I will say there is a symbiotic relationship between the two sectors, banking is important to the private sector, just as the private sector is important to the banks.

    That explains why this conference is taking place.

    “So, it is safe to conclude that the more active and synergistic the relationship between banking and private sector, the more we are collectively able to develop and grow the national economy for sustainable Nigeria,’’ he said.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  LASG set for 9th Climate Change Summit
    LASG set for 9th Climate Change Summit
     LASG set for 9th Climate Change Summit
    LASG set for 9th Climate Change Summit
    Environment3 weeks ago

    LASG set for 9th Climate Change Summit

    The Lagos State Government says it is set for the ninth edition of its Climate Change Summit.

    The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, stated this at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos ahead of the summit .

    According to Bello, the summit, which will take place from Aug. 2 to Aug. 3, will be action-oriented because the government has decided to do things differently.

    Bello said that for the government to achieve a robust summit, it co-opted the Organised Private Sector (OPS) from the planning stage to the delivery of the Summit.

    “This is in recognition of the impact of the OPS to economic growth in Lagos and our resolve to mainstream climate action in the next phase of the developmental agenda in Lagos state.

    “It is also an affirmative action in the support of the role of the private sector in mitigating the effects of climate change,” Bello said.

    He said that the theme of the 2022 edition of the Summit is “Integrating Climate Actions in Lagos State Development; Investment Opportunities and Trade-offs”.

    According to him, the theme demonstrates the effect of climate action on the state and how new vistas of opportunities can be developed.

    The commissioner said that the state government inaugurated the Lagos State Climate Action Plan at the eighth edition of the summit in 2021.

    He said that the projected agenda embedded in that plan was aimed at charting a course towards achieving net zero emissions; that is zero carbon emission in Lagos by 2050.

    He added that the state hope to achieve zero carbon emission through the provision of impact oriented actions across various sectors of the economy.

    “What this simply means is that we have to accelerate the development of a green economy in the state by exploring innovative climate solutions and mobilizing various resources required to achieve the target,” Bello said.

    He said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu will be the Special Guest of Honour at the summit.

    The commissioner said that the lead paper, titled “Financing Transformative Climate Action for Lagos State”, would be delivered by Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke.

    Okereke is the Director of the Center for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi.

    Bello enjoined all stakeholders, development partners and investors to join Lagos as partners in progress towards achieving a green and sustainable economic growth in Lagos.

    The commissioner expressed optimism that the summit will create a sustainable environment for future generations.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other dignitaries present at the conference included the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Lagos state, Mr Lekan Shodeinde and the Consultant on Climate Change, Prof. Babajide Alo. Also in attendace was Dr Omobolaji Gaji, Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Ministry of Environment.




    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Banks OPS synergy key to sustainable growth says ACAMB President
    Banks, OPS synergy key to sustainable growth, says ACAMB President
     Banks OPS synergy key to sustainable growth says ACAMB President
    Banks, OPS synergy key to sustainable growth, says ACAMB President
    Economy3 weeks ago

    Banks, OPS synergy key to sustainable growth, says ACAMB President

    The Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) says that constant engagement and communication between the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and the banking sector will promote the desired sustainable growth and development of the economy.

    Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa, President of ACAMB, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Lagos.

    Bolarinwa said Nigeria would be the major beneficiary of the high-profile meeting between banks and the OPS as stakeholders seek to find lasting solutions to the constraints between the two key sectors of the economy.

    He said that the first-ever national stakeholders conference on synergy between the Nigerian banking industry and the OPS would hold on Aug.

    3, 2022.

    Bolarinwa said that the first-ever conference would birth far-reaching strategies that would help to unlock several opportunities for the Nigerian economy.

    He said that the conference would be organised by the ACAMB – the banking industry corporate, marketing communications and reputation management association; in partnership with other stakeholders including the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

    Bolarinwa said: “Nigeria will be the major beneficiary of the high-profile meeting between banks and the Organised Private Sector, as stakeholders seek to find lasting solutions to the constraints between the two key sectors of the economy.” He said that the conference which would hold at the Bankers House, Victoria Island, Lagos, would bring together the best players in banks and OPS to act as think tank for the nation’s macroeconomic growth.

    Bolarinwa said that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, would be the keynote speaker.

    He added that the Presidents of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), NACCIMA, Institute of Directors (IoD) and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) would be major speakers.

    He said that the strategic panelists would be led by the leadership of the sectors, which would cut across banking players and the OPS including NECA, NASSI and NASME, among others.

    He also said that the main plenary session would be moderated by the foremost economist, Dr Biodun Adedipe.

    “We are providing an open-minded platform for both sectors to articulate and ventilate their fears, interest and expectations and opportunities that will benefit both sectors, the national economy and Nigeria at large.

    “At the end of the session, we expect a robust communique that will provide a road map for a new relationship between the banking industry and the OPS,” Bolarinwa said.

    According to him, the OPS is a valued stakeholder of the banking industry as both the banking industry and the organised private sector play major roles in growing the economy.

    “Therefore, there is a need for the two sectors to work closely together.

    “The conference offers a unique platform for private sector players and the banking community to share perspectives on the synergy, communication, cooperation and mutual understanding between these two critical segments of the Nigerian economy can be improved to benefit the Nigerian people and economy progressively.

    “ACAMB is reaching out to all critical stakeholders to ensure inclusiveness and maximisation of capacity.

    “We will persist in generating innovative and creative initiatives to promote the growth and development of the banking industry and the national economy,” Bolarinwa said.

    He urged the media to partner in the new paradigm shift of engagements with critical stakeholders in the industry, describing the media as being crucial to creating mutual understandings.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Industry competition Why manufacturers micro small and medium businesses are vulnerable
    Industry competition: Why manufacturers, micro, small, and medium businesses are vulnerable
     Industry competition Why manufacturers micro small and medium businesses are vulnerable
    Industry competition: Why manufacturers, micro, small, and medium businesses are vulnerable
    Business10 months ago

    Industry competition: Why manufacturers, micro, small, and medium businesses are vulnerable

    By Timi Olubiyi, Ph.DWorld over, competition exists across several fields and sectors of the economy and it is inevitable in business regardless of the business type, structure, size, and industry of operations. Fair competition exists when no single buyer or seller can control the price or product in the market.Even if a business enjoys a monopoly in a sector it must compete with other businesses over where consumer spend their money. Consequently, competition is really not a bad phenomenon as it can spark innovation, productivity, competitiveness, and it largely contributes to an effective business environment. For this reason and more businesses needs to continue to attract consumers with innovative behaviors.In fact competition is a natural and healthy part of running businesses in an adequately regulated economy. Because when businesses vie for customers, competition makes prices fall, and with that economic output increases. Therefore, if practiced the right way competition can ensure consumers have a range of choices, businesses can equally strive better, and workers can be retained.However, the place of anti-competitive practices which is a huge challenge for businesses particularly small businesses at this time is the focus of this piece and awareness needs to be brought to it in my opinion.Although anti-competitive practices which are acts that prevent or reduce fair competition in a market often enrich those who practice them, it is widely believed to have a negative effect on the economy as a whole.From context observation, these anti-competitive practices exist in the various business landscape in Nigeria and indeed many African countries and this behavior continue to fester.Anti-competitive practices can include unfair mergers, cartel conducts, collusions, price-fixing, the overbearing influence of vested interests, deceptive marketing practices, monopolization, price discrimination, political patronage, and predatory pricing amongst others.Cartel conducts are one of the most harmful anti-competitive practices a nation can deal with. For instance, the businesses are ailing in Nigeria, not only because of the weak infrastructure environment but largely due to several cartels' conduct and collusions, exacerbated by the current economic downturn and stiff challenges.A visible trend is the engagement of individuals or few businesses amongst the cartels in taking samples of products to a foreign country to reproduce on a large scale, dump at a predatory price into the market, where no room for fair competition can exist.This pattern happens with many household items and consumer goods such as textiles, building fixtures, and fittings, detergent, cosmetics, tissue paper, biscuits, shoes, clothing, vehicle spare parts, all types of electronics, phones, generators, and to a commodity as low as nylon bags, etc.Predominantly having predatory pricing is usually the strategy of the cartels, where prices drop so low until the local businesses are driven out of the market. But sadly these products are usually substandard and with grave health and safety implications.For instance, in the textile space, six yards of African print (Ankara) can sell as low as N1, 500, that is N250 per yard, can a Nigerian textile manufacturer with the humongous cost of running a business beat that?Can the product be durable? These are the questions. Further to this, a colleague Dr Akinwumi Ajayi recently bought a flash drive of 32gig capacity for use and he could not copy an 18gig presentation file with video onto the 32gig flash drive, an example of deceptive marketing practice in every sphere of business life in the country.These sharp practices are a result of a weak regulatory regime and lack of consequences for such acts of anti-competitive behaviours.So, overall the local manufacturing sector continues to suffer on the account of this unchecked behavior where importation of substandard products prevails despite the ban on some of these imported finished items.I, recognize that Nigerian consumers are highly price-sensitive due to limited income and shrinking purchasing power, but the worry is the unabated importation of these items at the detriment of health and safety.Without doubt, poverty plays a significant role in all these because it has been one of the increasing challenges facing the country today. More so ceaseless dumping of foreign-manufactured substandard products into Nigerian markets has been a major problem and this needs more attention by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to achieve significant effort on non-shipment of sub-standard goods to Nigeria.The whole idea is that this anti-competitive behaviour is used by a few dominant individuals or businesses to generate abnormal profits and it erodes fair competition within the market.The central thing is that if this activity continues uncontrolled it may take a negative toll on the Nigerian small business ecosystem, create market failures, erase job creation, and wealth creation within the economy.It is imperative to mention that one of the biggest challenges that result in business failure aside from financial constraints, lack of manpower necessities, operational difficulties, and absence of adequate structure by businesses particularly the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises(SMEs) in Nigeria is the negative impact of anti-competitive behaviours. It is so bad that it can affect not only the businesses but the entire economy if it remains unchecked.Small businesses have been seen to be an effective bedrock of any economy be it developed or developing, therefore it is imperative to consider their survival in the face of current realities and the impact of anti-competitive conduct of the few. One of the important functions of government is to create an enabling environment in which businesses can operate and compete fairly.It is therefore key for the government to offer protection to SMEs, and large industries against anti-competitive behaviors in the country because the future of businesses particularly manufacturing looks bright if government support is there. The Nigerian market is increasingly viable because of the population which can drive volume and demand for products and services at any level.I am aware that the Nigerian government recently enacted a national competition law, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019 (FCCPA), 17 years after the first idea was pushed. The role of FCCPA is to oversee consumer protection and competition issues in commercial activities within or having effects on Nigerians.This step is laudable, however, for meaningful impact, the specific focus should be on proper implementation, enforcement, and prosecution. Adequate sanctions have to be in place to check fraudulent trade practices or unfair anti-competitive practices.This responsibility of government is expressly stated under the United Nations (UN) Guidelines. Consequently, if well implemented it can create confidence in the economy, promote good corporate governance, create market stability that can attract new business entrants, and promote efficiency. It can even attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and enhance the competitiveness of the domestic market.By and large, operators and other key stakeholders such as Organised Private Sector (OPS), The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) should continue to engage government and policymakers on the need for clear policies to foster a competitive environment for businesses in the country.In fact, when anti-competitive practices are controlled, it can help to ensure that the quality of goods and services remains high in the country. Evidently, with a strong political will, government action can block most of the anti-competitive practices. Good luck and God bless Nigeria!How may you obtain advice or further information on the article?Dr. Timi Olubiyi, an Entrepreneurship & Business Management expert with a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Babcock University Nigeria. A prolific investment coach, seasoned scholar, Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), and Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) registered capital market operator. He can be reached on the Twitter handle @drtimiolubiyi and via email:, for any questions, reactions, and comments.

  •  Independence ACCI seeks more involvement in govt activities
    Independence: ACCI seeks more involvement in govt activities
     Independence ACCI seeks more involvement in govt activities
    Independence: ACCI seeks more involvement in govt activities
    Economy2 years ago

    Independence: ACCI seeks more involvement in govt activities

    The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), has called for more involvement of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) in government activities to spur socio-economic development.

    ACCI President, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode made the call on Wednesday in Abuja during the “Chamber’s Walk’’ to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence celebration.

    Kayode, represented by Chief Jude Igwe, ACCI Vice President, Industry, described the private sector as the engine of growth of any nation generating more 90 per cent of jobs in the country.

    “Successful businesses drive growth, create jobs and pay the taxes that finance services and investment.

    “We fund 60 per cent of all investments and provide more than 80 per cent of government revenues, so we would like government to involve us more in its activities.

    “Both private and public sectors working together is the answer to taking the country out of the looming recession caused by COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

    Presenting the chamber’s remaining activities for the year, he said the Abuja International Trade Fair would hold from Oct. 22 to Nov.2.

    According to him, the Real Estate Development Expo is also scheduled to hold from Nov. 18 to Dec. 21.

    He said the fairs including Halal Expo and others would hold both virtually and on site with the help of FCT health department in setting up safety measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

    Speaking with the Newsmen, Igwe noted that Nigeria was not mature in terms of sourcing of raw materials for industries, especially critical industries that produced valuable things in the country.

    Igwe said government should assist the OPS particularly in the financial policies that would lead to sourcing of funds including foreign exchange.

    “Some of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are mostly in production and commercial sector cannot source for foreign exchange not because they want to bring in things that are produced here.

    “But rather to bring in things that are not available here but which will be used to produce things which people will love to buy outside,” he said.

    Edited By: Grace Yussuf
    Source: NAN





  •  NEPZA urges private sector to patronise free trade zones as buffers
    NEPZA urges private sector to patronise free trade zones as buffers 
     NEPZA urges private sector to patronise free trade zones as buffers
    NEPZA urges private sector to patronise free trade zones as buffers 
    Economy2 years ago

    NEPZA urges private sector to patronise free trade zones as buffers 

    Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), has urged Organised Private Sector (OPS) to patronise Free Trade Zones (FTZs) nationwide to ward-off widespread business uncertainty occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.

    According to a statement signed by Mr Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications of NEPZA on Tuesday in Abuja, Adesugba made the call during a visit to the President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajia Saratu Aliyu.

    The NEPZA boss said the industrialisation of the country could be achieved faster if government and OPS worked together.

    Adesugba was before his appointment the National Legal Adviser of NACCIMA.

    NEPZA will continue to partner with the private sector. NEPZA holds a double status as a facilitator and promoter of investments-free business environment and a regulator that ensures compliance with standards.

    “The organisation that I head was set up to manage and regulate FTZs, which are only business enclave that now guarantee nearness to markets dislocated by a strain in global transportation and logistics against devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “The pandemic as we are aware continues to distort business logistics globally and so, global investors are looking for workable FTZs to move into.

    “Doing so will guarantee preservation of the supply chains and their investments,’’ he said.

    According to him, the supply chain management is going to be critical as COVID-19 has changed business logistics but if we can take advantage of various incentives which include tax holiday, absence of customs duties and multiple taxes charged outside FTZs, then our businesses can stay afloat.

    He said that the authority was working assiduously to introduce variety of Economic Special Zones (ESZ), saying that Medical, Solid Mineral, Agriculture and Technology were to be considered.

    Adesugba explained that the establishment of Constituency Industrial Parks in the over 300 Federal Constituencies were also being contemplated.

    The NEPZA boss promised to use experience garnered while being an active member of NACCIMA to deliver positively as head of the agency.

    Earlier, the NACCIMA president said Adesugba’s commitment to excellence, transparency, due process and probity would make him reposition NEPZA as the pride of the country.

    She explained that the association was prepared to collaborate and support the authority to achieve its mandate, saying that the country’s FTZs scheme remained secured for investors and should be exploited.

    On his part, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), said the chamber would support Adesugba to have a successful tenure in NEPZA.

    Kayode, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, added that the chambers had approved that NEPZA should become an automatic member of the Chambers’ council.

    “We want to broaden our operations. We hope that when we come asking for NEPZA’s partnership and support, it will be there for us.

    “We are indeed grateful to government for appointing our man as head of this very important agency,’’ he said.

    Kayode said that the creation of more Special Economic Zones, would help in the actualisation of the country’s industrialisation.

    NEPZA officials were taken on inspection tour of the association’s Business Entrepreneurship Skills and Technology (BEST) Centre, Gemmological Institute of Nigeria (GIN) and the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Jewellery Centre respectively.

    The highpoint of the visit was the decoration of Adesugba as NACCIMA Ambassador.

    Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)






  •  Lagos govt earmarks N1bn to boost hospitality sector
    Lagos govt earmarks N1bn to boost hospitality sector
     Lagos govt earmarks N1bn to boost hospitality sector
    Lagos govt earmarks N1bn to boost hospitality sector
    Politics2 years ago

    Lagos govt earmarks N1bn to boost hospitality sector

    The Lagos State Government says it has earmarked N1 billion as part of COVID-19 bailout for the hospitality sector in the state.

    Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, made this known on Wednesday in Ikeja during the 6th Lagos Corporate Assembly, tagged: ”BOS Meets Business”.

    The Lagos Corporate Assembly was organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.

    Sanwo-Olu said that the fund would be accessed through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

    ”One of the commitment that we will continue to give to you is that when it comes to your businesses, we must continue to ensure that we give you the opportunity to do well, we give you the space to thrive.

    ”It is only when you do well that Lagos can continue to have that lead, that Lagos can continue to remain that place that good businesses can continue to thrive.

    ”We need to do a lot more for the industry. We have just given approval for a N1 billion support that will go through the Lagos Employment Trust Fund.

    “The hospitality operators have to meet certain criteria to be able to access the fund.

    ”I am working collaboratively with the CBN to get specific sign up from them that I will donate to the hospitality industry in Lagos,” he said.

    The governor said that measures already being implemented to ensure a business friendly environment included waivers of penalties on annual tax remittance and tax returns on COVID-19 donations.

    He said that the measures also included the signing of a new Land Use Charge Law with a 48 per cent reduction in the 2018 payment of the charge.

    Sanwo-Olu assured members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) that a list of approved taxes would be published on the state’s website to resolve the issue of multiple taxation.

    Representatives of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) who attended the interactive meeting, the first by the Sanwo-Olu administration, commended the state government for continuing the meeting.

    Members of the OPS present included Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, NACCIMA, SMEDAN and Nigeria Employers Consultative Association.

    The meeting was also attended by the State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, and other top government officials.

    At the meeting, the OPS asked the state government to review the 10p.m. curfew imposed in the state because of the COVID -19 pandemic.

    The OPS also urged the state government to address issues of taxation, bad roads and unwholesome attitude of some officials.

    They commended the state government for the various measures already implemented and solicited more to ensure a robust environment for businesses to thrive.

    In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, said that all the issues raised during previous meetings had been resolved by the relevant government ministries and agencies.

    Akande said that the issues, contributions and feedback helped immeasurably to improve on government’s service delivery towards making Lagos a 21st Century Economy.

    Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

  •  LCCI seeks OPS inclusion in ESP Committee for economic recovery
    LCCI seeks OPS inclusion in ESP Committee for economic recovery
     LCCI seeks OPS inclusion in ESP Committee for economic recovery
    LCCI seeks OPS inclusion in ESP Committee for economic recovery
    Economy2 years ago

    LCCI seeks OPS inclusion in ESP Committee for economic recovery

    The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for inclusion and engagement of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) Committee for economic recovery during and after COVID-19 pandemic.

    Mrs Toki Mabogunje, LCCI President, made the call at the Chamber’s third edition on the state of the Nigerian Economy Conference on Tuesday in Lagos.

    Mabogunje said that inclusion of OPSN in the committee would ensure the economic sustainability plan achieved its desired outcomes, which would ultimately translate to improved living standards for the Nigerian citizenry.

    “We commend and recognise that the ESP, as submitted by the committee, seeking to foster new ways of working, producing, learning, and managing public health and safety in the years to come.

    “This include building resilience across critical sectors, including aviation, education, healthcare, internal security, mining, water, and sanitation.

    “However, we are concerned in the composition of the committee saddled with the ESP largely excluded the organised private sector and they were not actively represented in drawing this plan.

    “While we see this as a significant omission on the part of the government, we would, however, advise that the OPS be actively involved in ensuring the implementation, as well as in monitoring the progress of the recommended activities going forward.

    “As a concerned stakeholder in the Nigerian economy, we call on the Federal and State Governments to engage with the organised private sector, where and when necessary, to achieve its desired outcomes on the Economic Sustainability Plan,” she said.

    Mabogunje noted that the business community continued to reel from the unprecedented crisis precipitated by the pandemic and associated containment measures.

    She urged government to swiftly rescue sectors whose business models and earnings projections have substantially been disrupted by the pandemic.

    “We note that activities are yet to resume in certain sectors such as tourism, hospitality, entertainment and education.

    “Many businesses are presently in dire financial straits as they battle with escalating costs, high receivables, loss of credit lines and other contractual obligations amid revenue shocks.

    “The impact is more pronounced on micro and small enterprises, with inadequate financial buffers to withstand shocks of this magnitude.

    “While we acknowledge the efforts by the Federal and State Governments, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and private corporations toward assuaging the impact on the business community;

    “We urge governments to swiftly come to the rescue of some sectors whose business models and earnings projections have substantially been disrupted by the pandemic,” she said.

    The LCCI president also expressed deep concerns over the country’s rising debts portfolio.

    She called for caution on the continued use of debt to meet fiscal obligations and advised the exploration of the option of equity financing to bridge the fiscal deficit gap.

    “According to official statistics from the Debt Management Office, public debt stock increased by 4.5 per cent to N28.63 trillion as of March 31, 2020, from N27.40 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2019.

    “We note the Federal Government’s resolve to raise funds locally and externally to bridge the deficit in the fiscal budget.

    “Government have secured 3.4 billion dollars and 288.5 million dollars credit facilities from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and African Development Bank (AfDB) respectively.

    “Discussions are ongoing for another 1.5 billion dollars facility from the World Bank.

    “This could possibly push the country’s debts stock to around N33 trillion by year-end, equivalent to 22 per cent of GDP,” she said.

    On the deregulation of the downstream oil sector, Mabogunje welcomed the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit.

    She, however, said that price fixing by the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) was not consistent with the philosophy of a market driven downstream sector as it was a contradiction in terms.

    “Also, we are deeply concerned that despite various reviews of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in the last decade, the bill is yet to be signed into law.

    “The non-passage of the bill has deprived the oil sector and the broader economy of enormous private investment inflows into the sector, among other benefits.

    “The Lagos Chamber calls for an expeditious consideration and passage of the revised bill by the National Assembly,” Mabogunje said.

    On electricity, she acknowledged the postponement of the planned hike in electricity tariff by the power distribution companies to the first quarter of 2021.

    Mabogunje said that metering should be accorded high priority to engender the confidence of consumers in the billing process.

    She expressed grave concerns over the astronomical increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the nations.

    The LCCI president expressed fear that continued disregard for safety protocols might accelerate the spike in the spread of the pandemic.

    This, she noted, might prompted corresponding containment measures which would adversely affect the business environment and economy at large.

    “We, therefore, urge strict compliance to ensure that economic activities are not impacted negatively due to negligence and non-compliance,” Mabogunje said.

    Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)